Using X-radiography to Reveal an Ancient Zapotec Urn

Author(s): Adam Sellen

Year: 2015


Since the inception of thermoluminescence dating we have known that a significant number of Zapotec effigy vessels in museum collections are fakes, manufactured sometime in the early twentieth century. Some of these forgeries are composites that combine ancient and recent materials, but it is not clear how they were assembled, or how a conservator could restore such an object. In order to fully understand how these composites were manufactured and in what way they differ from ancient ceramics, we used X-radiography to analyze composites, fakes and ancient artifacts in a collection at the Royal Ontario Museum, in Toronto, Canada. Part of a broader study, we hope to find out more about the nature and origin of these creations from Oaxaca, products of a clandestine industry that has injected great quantities of fakes into the world market.

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Using X-radiography to Reveal an Ancient Zapotec Urn. Adam Sellen. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397396)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;